SC orders release of NewsClick editor Prabir Purkayastha 

Trial court will impose bail conditions

91
Prabir
Prabir Purkayastha, editor, NewsClick

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of NewsClick Editor Prabir Purkayastha, who was arrested in a UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) case, terming his arrest and subsequent remand as illegal. The bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta said that since the remand copy was not provided to Purkayastha or his counsel, the arrest is void.

However, since Delhi Police has filed a charge sheet in the case, the top court directed Purkayastha’s release on bail on conditions to be fixed by the trial court.

The top court’s order came two weeks after it asked Delhi Police on 30 April as to why it did not inform Purkayastha’s lawyer  and pulled it up for its “hot haste” in producing Purkayastha before the magistrate. The court found it surprising that the remand order was passed even before his lawyer received his remand application.

As reported by NDTV, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who appeared for Purkayastha, said his client was arrested on October 3 and produced before the magistrate at 6 am the next day. He said only legal aid lawyers and the additional public prosecutor were present, and Purkayastha’s lawyer was not informed. When Purkayastha objected to this, the investigating officer informed his lawyer through telephone, and the remand application was sent to him on WhatsApp.

Purkayastha along with HR head Amit Chakravarty were arrested on October 3 last under the anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, days after a New York Times investigation alleged that NewsClick had received funding from a network pushing Chinese propaganda. 

Delhi Police accused NewsClick and Purkayastha of terror funding and promoting Chinese propaganda. Amit Chakravarty in January turned an approver in the case and has been named as a “witness” in the charge sheet. Delhi High Court on May 6 ordered his release.

According to India Today, Purkayastha was also accused of conspiring with Neville Roy Singham and others to criticize the Indian government’s efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 and publishing articles against vaccines manufactured by Indian pharmaceutical companies.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here